YEPP PerSPEctive - Tricia Stephens encourages risk taking and thinking outside the box.
The pitfall of failing to take risks is a message heralded in coffee rooms worldwide. There are articles pasted to vending machines being read by people who find that the riskiest thing they do all day is consume forbidden calories from Cadbury. And, frankly, this topic is fraught with platitudes and quotes by people who appear to be living life in airbag suits. At the first sign of career or personal trouble, their jackets inflate with hot air that floats them out of the crisis zone and back into a Starbucks commercial. Or at least that is the only thing I can imagine when they make risk taking sound so easy to do. Back to real life. Unless your cubicle is about to be converted to a cu-bubble, you can expect to land squarely on your posterior taking some risks in your career. Then you need to figure out how to recover your self-esteem, and, if you are incredibly smart, you might even learn to fail without damaging your credibility. In truth, I have not yet learned how to do all of that, but I have figured out a bit about the path to risk taking in our careers.
Put Down Your Security Blanket
There is a place called the comfort zone, the emotional sweet spot or even job routine. This state of being is important to everybody. It is often the mark that we have climbed a hill technically and mastered the task set out before us to the point that we understand where we are going intuitively. So celebrate finding a comfort zone and take the room to breathe. Just do not get stuck.
I started as a consultant immediately after completing my graduate studies. My company has a reputation for tackling technically complex problems in everything from frontier to conventional environments globally, covering from the reservoir to the surface. Whew! In fact, there are three juniors in a sea of experts, and we are expected to push our development technically, carry our consulting load, and learn the client-management aspects of the business. Sometimes it feels as though my learning curve is wrapped up and over Everest and nobody brought oxygen. So projects that I understand from beginning to end (rare, I assure you) ease that nervous tic in my tummy, and life is sweet for a moment.